Dimensional profiling of psychopathology in children and adolescents based on the K-SADS-PL and an analysis of the construct validity of two ADHD symptom dimensions

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Objectives: The traditional view on psychiatric disorders as categorical and distinct is being challenged by perspectives emphasizing the relevance of dimensional and transdiagnostic assessment. However, most diagnostic instruments are based on a categorical view with a threshold-approach to disease classification.Methods: We here describe algorithms for dimensionalizing the psychopathological ratings of the widely used diagnostic interview for children and adolescents, the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia – Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL). We further evaluate the criterion-related construct validity of the dimensionalized attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) scales using Rasch models in a sample of 590 children (mean age 10.29 (.36), 49% girls).Results: The algorithms generate scores of current symptom load, i.e., the sum of clinician-rated symptoms within each disorder assessed with the interview. We found support for counting symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, respectively, but not for a single combined ADHD scale.Conclusions: The algorithms constitute an initial step in creating a framework for clinician-rated dimensional analyses of symptoms derived from the K-SADS-PL, but future studies are needed to further evaluate the construct validity of the remaining scales and the reliability and clinical utility of the method. We believe that our proposed algorithms offer a novel method of dimensional psychopathological assessment, which can be applied in multiple branches of child and adolescent psychiatry.
Original languageEnglish
Book seriesNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2024

ID: 369176955